United Services isn't your typical insurance restoration company. For starters, the company's fleet of vehicles includes roughly a dozen used ambulances that they use as job trucks. “Before we had the ambulances, people wouldn't know about us until they had a loss,” president Jody Wesley says, explaining that the vehicles have become something of his company's signature. “Now, people know us before we even show up.”

Unlike many in disaster restoration, Wesley's company doesn't clean up after a fire or flood. The insurance companies find other companies for that, then call United Services to do the reconstruction.

And call they do; Wesley estimates that his company has 80% of the market in this Champaign suburb. He credits a lot of this to his employees' professionalism and the systems they've established to make the difficult process of rebuilding after a disaster as smooth as possible for the homeowner. It's working, too; not only do the insurance companies keep calling, but about 10% of United Services' volume comes from conventional remodeling — most of it from houses the company had previously repaired.